Caregivers Get a Break and Some Coaching Too
A bipartisan law signed by President Donald Trump in January calls for a national strategy to address the needs of caregivers, who are primarily women and provide 37 billion hours in unpaid care to relatives or close friends.
All those hours are valued at $470 billion, according to an AARP study. The law will require the Department of Health and Human Services to set up an advisory council and develop a blueprint for government action on financial and workplace issues, respite care and other caregiver issues.
Family caregivers are almost two times more likely to have emotional and physical problems than other U.S. adults, and three times more likely to have productivity problems at work, according to a 2015 study. The more intense the care, the greater the effects, the researchers found.
Among the programs that you may soon see is a program developed by gerontologist, Eric Coleman. The Care Transitions Program trains health and mental health professionals to help caregivers ease the transition of a patient to home care. The coaches are usually social workers, nurses or others hired by hospitals and other facilities to work directly with caregivers.